tv First Ladies Influence Image CSPAN September 2, 2013 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT
with ms. -- ms. -- a mess. much tonot bother me so not have an absolutely clear rule. i think you can teach by example. a lot of our differences will be about that. once people start a particular road and think it is the right track, they continued down that road. father gave me two pieces of advice. one was to stay on the paved -- on the paved road.
the second is to do your job. people will see they are serious and trying to earn respect, even if it is 5-4. >> thank you. >> good. i'm not going to jump down. >> i can say hello to you. >> there are a lot of people. would.to, and i probably >> in a few moments, a preview of season two of first ladies,
influence and image. mccain andnator graham talk about syria. after that we will talk about the war parent -- war powers act. then we will talk about rights with supreme court justice stephen breyer. of firstcial preview ladies: influence and image. politics ande style and how the role of first lady's continues to evolve. an hour.bout >> you have to be honest exactly
how you feel, and i felt it was the best thing in the world when the supreme court voted to legalize abortion and put it in the hospitals where it the longest. belongs.it >> somewhere there may be someone who follows in my footsteps. i wish him well. of the firstthree ladies we will be exploring. evening, and thanks for being with us. set the stage are two of our academic advisors of the series.
with a recapstart after we left things season one. settart with the woman who the stage for everyone. did the rolee, how of first lady change? to look at how it remained the same, and that was the woman as hostess for the nation. i think the role grew to encompass preserving the white house, crafting an image for her administration, and i think a growing recognition of the position of the united in world affairs, so you
have someone looking to re-vamp waywhite house in a major to make it a residence were as the chief executive of a major power. >> i would add there are three distinct individuals who defined it. the biggest difference is those opinions matter. that reflects the enormous impact of the media. the biggest difference is
everyone recognizes it is a job. it was seen first and foremost in traditional ms to terms. -- traditional domestic terms. ladies who number of and attractedle harsh public criticism. the surprise would be if they did not have a public profile beyond wife and mother. thee've been talking about evolution of the american woman. women could not vote eerie good >> no, but a were very act of in -- women affairs,
could not vote. >> no, but a were very active in political affairs. this brings women into politics even thoughl ways, they cannot vote. part of what rock them into reform and how can we get this modified, that increases the their involvement. >> the parallel would read they but there are ways to assert their influence. >> first ladies have access to a
wider audience. they sell more books than their husbands. their popularity is higher because they are not mired in day to day politics. they can become political but they are carrying this -- >> it is a double edged sword. we are going to start with first lady michelle obama. we have a clip where she talks .bout her impact on the world >> you grow into this role. you never get comfortable if you are always pushing for change.
you're never done. there's never a time where you the, i can do this all time. you're always changing. you have to be flexible and open to evolve. recorded airing the first administration. she is the first african- american first lady. the role, isches she building on the traditions? causes shesay in the has chosen to champion, she has been his of issues that would benefit the american nation.
very wiselyhoose what she wanted to support eerie dead -- to support. building,ys she is but you have to change with the role every day. eight there were those who saw her as -- in 2008 there were those who saw her as a controversial figure. may be a little harsh. >> if you think back to hillary end of her eight years her cause was saving , which wasreasury about as middle of the road as you can get.
i think that is another kind of politics every first lady has to deal with, how they are public, and how that affects their choices and --ge making eerie dead making. that's an important part of the job. he always talks about her comparative opulent rarity. -- comparative popularity. how does that affect the president? >> i think it helps enormously. image hes whatever had. looking like a good family man never heard anybody.
>> where did it start? >> first ladies have been able to avoid a polarization that has engulfed this town and the presidency. ways eleanor roosevelt is the starting line her presence -- she but shelarizing figure, had enormous style. she published books. >> somewhere between 20 and 25 -- and 25 eerie at we
before she ever filled it. the eleanor roosevelt who made polarized the country was the eleanor roosevelt who wanted to see marion anderson perform at the , even thoughial she was denied, which we do not find controversial. >> and african-american. is a first lady was in the middle of that controversy. that set her apart from her predecessors and set her apart from the red cross promoter. >> did she come into the role, or did she grow into it? >> she had been in the movement
since she was out of high school. correct she only started when she got out of the white house area did -- a white house. been an activist in the women's movement, the labor movement, and she was probably fewof the first -- the first ladies who came into the white house with political owntituencies of her separate from her husband. >> has that happened since then? >> maybe hillary.
>> on a much more modest scale. with things. broadcast.dio she was proud she drew more than her health and. -- her husband. of commercialized the role first lady. >> people would come down on her today. one of the things i thought was is she was about her into the media at the time, particularly the radio.
they were talking about we are going to do anything we can to win. that illustrates her ee is in ee's --e media -- her the media.ng >> you often hear the times make the man or the woman. her husband served longer than any other administration. the public was eager to hear from the white house. >> she rose to the occasion.
she goes to the convention, and the mood ofrecast the convention. suggests the clout and stature she had. >> franklin was wasing at third term, which unheard of. appear toowant to self-aggrandizing. she pulled it off. many know there are so biographies, but it sounds like their political partnership.
few livinguite a former first ladies, and they get together to talk about their ob. this is barbara britt -- barbara bush and roslyn carter talking about being first they be. lady is going to be criticized if she does too little or too much. be the besthave to you can and so what. >> i think the public wants the first lady to make policy. projects andies do but i did notat,
inc. first ladies have influence they'd -- i do not think there is any doubt first ladies have influence on husband. is all it takes. barbara bush. >> that seem cavalier for political families to say so what. >> she was very aware there were things she could not discuss and policies she could not remote -- promote as first lady. abortion rights was the big one and equal rights was the other. hell it takes on women she promised she would not talk -- politicse was in
on women she promised she would not talk about. we had a first lady comfortable talking about abortion. the public had changed. she could not do it. >> she never dreamed she would be first lady. betty ford. there were extraordinary circumstances. she said the your self. -- the your self. yourself. on the one hand there are tensions between the east and west wing. sometimes it is overtly ill. hostile.
>> she got burned like abigail adams. >> it did not turn out to be as well received as she had hoped. they had a close partnership, but there were some things she did not do again. her mental health initiatives were very controversial. >> one thing is they were not of .ashington americans periodically decide
every four years they walked some ehealth. want someone else. here we have a 21st-century example. >> roosevelt had to learn the , all thatcedures social consumption. things we might associate with a first lady. >> at the smithsonian they did a series on first ladies. -- wings shengs the things one of
she said was she did not give policy. secondid, wait until the term. she said, i'm glad he didn't always follow my advice. about the post- white house years and how they live their lives. how are they doing? >> i think they are doing pretty well. very often what you see as the becomesf first ladies so inclined, she keeps that image for the rest of her life. about barbara bush
and her commitment to literacy but herdation, commitment to sobriety and helping people who are addicted there's a whole line of first ladies who keep that and do things with it the reagan >> they have a much wider range. >> one thing is by the creation of foundations. the libraries were originally academic institutions.
in some ways they created a platform. others see it as an office, andrs in that is totally different from the 19th century, and it spills over. >> we are going to look at another type of partnership, a first lady intensely involved in politics and advising her husband. this is an audio clip of lady or johnson. clip] >> would you like to wait quite now? >> yes. i am ready. >> a fine guy. the close-ups are much better than the distance once.
i will say it is better than the distance once. during the statement, he got a little aggressive. there was a considerable hick up in drama and interest when the questioning began. it was noticeably better, and your facial expressions are noticeably better. i thought your answer was good. the answer on vietnam was good. i really did not like one answer, because i think i heard you say, and i believe you have actually said out loud that you do not believe that. so i do not think you can very well say that when it is convenient. >> she is a tough credit. that she is not here
critiquing us. lbj, he was never a television president. >> and i have heard it said from bird johnsonady became much more pointedly critical of his performances when she knew he had been with another woman. who knows if that is really the case, but that is interesting commentary. of the presidents who recorded all of his phone calls. ladyd we have to thank bird johnson for making those available. the idea was they would be sealed for 50 years after the president's death, and the director of the johnson library, who had been a presidential bothhwriter and enjoyed johnsons, he went to mrs. johnson, maybe in the 1980's or early 90's, whenever they opened
it, and they moved that up. >> having access. listeners. it has posthumous johnson reputation. >> we should say that all of them are on our website, and you can hear real-time presidential power. >> it is the johnson we almost never saw. johnson. yes. >> which of the other modern first ladies were that much of a political partner? how theirics of partner was presenting themselves. remember from the autobiography, she was on the campaign trail fairly early on in the process. what other first ladies have that much interest in the electoral process? morey safer, he starts off by
saying, you can ask me anything you want, and he says, all right. you did not look very good today. and i know for a fact because of my current work that when he talked to nelson rockefeller for vice president, 1975, he said you are a dam fool for doing it. candor.the betty ford that is what he treasured. >> i think her input was very important in that same way, what she thought about the nixon pardon. you know, ifaid, we do not do this, the country is going to continue. >> she had tried unsuccessfully to get a woman on the supreme court, but she did get a woman on the cabinet. we know from her own words that
she was a significant lobbyist. of the the first job first lady in the modern era. >> you made reference when we talked about eleanor roosevelt about her command of all of the media available at the time. the 20th century. we will listen to cooper making radio remarks about this. what i want to do is use this as a launching pad to talk about the media and how it changed and how it changed the world. listen. [audio clip] >> i am very glad.
[indiscernible] the first a first, time america saw and heard a sitting first lady, so there we have the film, and as the century progressed, radios and television, and today the internet and then social media, how has this changed the role, and how have first ladies used the burgeoning mass media to affect their time in the white house? >> i think hoover was very aware that this was something as first lady, and she had set up in the white house and even at cap the studios where she
could practice talking with the american people. she is a transitional player. >> a pretty remarkable woman. she did not do more of that. her agenda. >> her whole agenda even more than his was redefined by the great depression. it is almost as if she took the veil. she had been such an activist, a public figure, and life in the ande house was pretty dour,
she slipped into the pretty traditional role of protecting her husband. that she did continue her commitment, however, to advocacy for women, and she did that through the girls clubs and promoting what today we would call physical fitness, and she was very committed to those, but that did not have in that particular time period a political connotation in the way it would now. she just thought this was something that was important to women, girls growing into womanhood should be prepared for the realistic world, and she talked about what is the role that young women can play for the depression, and so forth, which you saw a little bit of there. >> as we cover the arc of american history, we saw that as
the media grew, they understood that the first family was of enormous interest, selling newspapers and magazines. how did first ladies grasp the power they had to shape their image? >> bess truman, who did not have , in some waysces turning the clock back, and, someone who never expected to be in the white house, she had an enormous influence with the one man that counted, and she never asserted herself. another thing to say to the public. >> on the other hand, jacqueline kennedy was not a political first lady, and yet, she created an indelible impression. boy, did she know how to
wield power? watch the cbs at the white house, as 50 million or 60 million people did that night. it was a turning point. it was a highlight, in the , toessful use of the media fashion a nonpolitical image, which nonetheless had political effect. >> and today, it is 24/7 social media and now unmediated access to what is happening in the white house. to be veryyou have careful of every word that comes out of your mouth or is typed by your fingers in some way. i think you just have to be on your toes every moment. it is more intimate. >> michelle obama goes across the river to virginia, shocking -- shopping at a target store,
and all of a sudden, there it is. first ladies themselves are learning to harness this power. >> they will have to learn how to harness it, or they will be contradicted. examplesu think of any in history who fail to harness it and then became victim? >> it is something simpler. i am not a great fan of social media and the narcissistic, but, you know what? it is interesting, because the popular culture evolves, and in the 1950's, maney eisenhower, although seen as very much a traditional figure, she was every bit as much a fashion role model, a cultural icon as jackie kennedy was just a few short years later. >> the next administration.
everybody copied her. >> television was the internet of its day. >> she was always on the best dressed list, which looks a little strange to us now, post day, shee, but in her was thought to be one of the most best-dressed women in america, and she continued to make the best dressed lips, listing top american -- make that best-dressed lists. >> i had some real health problems throughout those years, had health problems. at made it easier for the first lady to drop -- to adopt the more traditional protective stance. >> maney eisenhower. series, in the first there were quite a few that we introduced people to. who are the gems?
the unknown gems? >> grace pruitt. best first lady you know nothing about, you know? agree, scratching our heads how she ever stayed , a very difficult man in many ways. >> controlling. she bobbeds death, her hair and went up in an airplane. outgoingas as warm and as he was dour and reserved. was sunny,nickname which will give you an idea of her personality. >> now, who else would be on your list? >> probably edith roosevelt.
everybody knows about teddy, and everybody knows about eleanor and franklin, but i think mrs. roosevelt, who really in many the modern first ladies role for the 20th century. people know very little about her. >> this is another category, which is first ladies who are thatned with media images may have very little to do with who they really work. you think of pat nixon. a very toughad time of it for the first two years she was here, and i think, frankly, with the passage of time, people realize just how great a role she played behind the scenes, with some very good advice in personnel matters and other things. one of the other things we will be able to do is not just
being with the first ladies but also some children of the white house. we have a clip of one of the children. this is ford. as family you know well, having worked on the ford library creation, and we will listen and talk about intervention. intervention,t and, you know, my memory of that is we walked in the door that morning, all the kids, and dad surprised mom, and he took her hand and said, betty, we are here because we love you. the kids want their mother back. i want my wife back. and those interventions are tough. work.gh, hard, hard a lot of tears. a lot of crying. and denial,voices not denial, and it goes back and forth. dad never a war, and gave up.
he said, betty, we love you. trust us. she did the work. morning,nt, that nobody ever thought there'd be something called the betty ford center. to get strictly fighting our mom back. dad was fighting to get his wife back, so to see the other side of that, months, years later, for her after she had had sobriety for a while, sold comfortable enough to put her name on a treatment center and to see that treatment center today, about 90,000 people have gone through their. nonprofit. her mission of affordable health for those who needed to transform their lives, to get healthy, to get sober, she was very proud of that. a nutshell, that sums up one of the real differences
the 19th century and the 20th century. thatou imagine having degree of intimacy, that degree of knowledge of the intimate life of a first lady of a presidential family, projecting it into millions of homes, having millions of people care? that connection that the media allows to happen, the emotional adulation, and the foreign toomething the 19th century. >> you also listen to that, and we are reminded that we talk about these folks who are enormous public figures, but they are human beings, living personal lives, as well. and how did that play out with some of the other women we are going to be looking at? i am thinking pat nixon. i have always thought of pat nixon as a tragic figure.
i do not think she was ever given enough credit for what she did during the nixon administration. picked uplly jacqueline kennedy's restoration , and wantinghouse to bring back original paintings and pieces of furniture, and it is pat nixon that brings back more antiques, art, and original furnishings into the white house than any other first lady, but most people know nothing about that. i think of jacqueline kennedy immediately, but they know almost nothing about the role pat nixon played, and i think that she was in her later years so overshadowed i what happened with the nixon resignation that it was very difficult for her, and i think his handlers in the white house did not have a proper appreciation of what an asset she could have been all
through the nixon administration. >> yes, we know that for a fact. the classic east wing -- west wing rivalry, probably reached a zenith or a depth during the nixon years. halderman's, they were not on very good terms with mrs. nixon, and they certainly did not appreciate what she could be, the asset that she was and could have been. lisa. a mona >> that is very true. >> she is a very and the maddux figure. >> and you do not get much until the book. >> the book is wonderful. i remember asking the people close to her, the word shy was often used, and someone who knew her very well said she was not shy. she was self-effacing, and there
is a difference between the two. what a self-effacing modern first lady is often a contradiction. referring to the victorian painting lady. had a number of first ladies who struggled with life in the white house. >> struggled with a lot. and politics. do think generalizations are dangerous, but i do think in the modern era, we think of the president and first lady, that they are a political partnership. >> together. case at thenot the time of franklin or james beard, in the 19th century. >> or even martha washington and george.
>> yes. >> certainly, she rose to that occasion, but i do not know that she ever thought, well, who would have thought when they got married that there would be a revolution? a change of government. line of a prisoner saying anything else, and i am personat every sympathizes with that. more it has become a accessible prison, if i can use that, and, perhaps, in some ways -- >> much more invaded by the media. much more theatrical. much more scripted. and unscripted. >> you referenced pat nixon and the contribution she made to the
white house itself, and that is another role, the partnership with the white house. thank you, jacqueline. id that is a final theme that wanted to return to, which is the first lady or the first family are custodians of the white house. some responsible for an enormous change greeted talk about what she did to the white house. >> it is very simple. she turned it into a home, as opposed to an office building. today is house you see partly jacqueline kennedy's and pat nixon, but edith roosevelt, becausedith roosevelt, they had lots of children, and and were all rambunctious, -- >> and a rambunctious husband. >> exactly. there are people before edith roosevelt.
but she creates the west wing. she clearly defines the residents from a working office area. but then the residents, it dates george washington could have walked into the teddy roosevelt white house and recognized it. out went the stained-glass windows and the victorian bric- a-brac. elegant.e much more >> i think she and teddy roosevelt were aware of the image, to use a very overused phrase, the imperial presidency, that the united states had, in fact, arrived on a world stage, and they needed a kind of which to setting in
conduct politics and diplomacy, and that is how they set up the white house, as this kind of stage for him to, you know, wield power. >> or reimagine the white house. >> of course, in today's money. it has changed a little bit in the dollars. the other influential custodians of the white house, the trumans. the construction. and the time in the blair house. was,l of the entertainment their formal entertaining was in washington hotels, because there was no world that they could entertain. >> you both the referenced jacqueline kennedy, and for our younger viewers, they may not know what the reference is. >> jacqueline kennedy, when she mainlyr her tour with eisenhower came away appalled.
the white house looked like a third rate hotel. and she decided out of pride -- it was patriotism. she wanted to restore the house, bring back the best of the past, and make it a showcase. >> and that was, i think, a way to exert a kind of cultural influence that was commensurate with the status of the united states in the 1960s. i mean, the economic power, the military power, and i think jacqueline saw that to go along with it was needed the cultural influence of the united states. and a stage, again, for her husband's conduct of politics
and diplomacy. >> i was thinking even more than as, who we really think of the first television president, and a president whose style, with kind of an ironic twist, was absolutely perfect for tv, but she was a real tv star. >> she was the one who imaged the administration. >> one of the things we have been doing all along the way is gathering the material and putting it on our website, which is available at c- and theseirstladies, programs have been highly interactive. we have a twitter feed and a facebook page. and we mix in some of those comments, as well. majorf you have had professional careers, very interactive. you are always speaking and
taking questions. some of the most frequently asked questions about first ladies? >> i would say the question i am asked most is who is my favorite first lady, and why? asked, whatou get about mary lincoln? >> yes, i got that question am a was she a raving, crazy lady? >> or was she really as bad and asdensome on the president legend would have? >> our twitter feed and facebook comments were much more new wants, and we do invite those watching to be part of this process, as we are learning history together, and take part by making telephone calls, and we will have phone numbers on the screen, and you can send us a facebook comments, send us a
twitter comment. so what was your answer to was mary lincoln really crazy? symptoms,from her today's doctors would probably diagnose her as manic- depressive. they would probably put her on lithium, send her to a 12-step program, and she would fit right in with modern society. >> how about that? -- your answeron to who was the worst first lady? >> we will pass over that. there are are some questions that just because they are asked do not have to be answered. as we ran more videos out of time, and this is our first first lady of the series. this is edith roosevelt post white house but still involved. let's listen. [audio clip]
is there speaking in support of herbert hoover. >> it is such an audit periods. you do not think of her as being politically active in the years following. that internal family dynamic. the high part about the roosevelts, they did not always get along. it is remarkable that on the eve of the election that everybody realize was a loss, she would go it suggests party loyalty more strongly. >> i do not think of edith roosevelt as a partisan figure. it is so and -- icharacteristic great >> solve this. >> absolutely. i'm losing my voice. set the stage. what are you be looking forward
world of politics which they may or may not have aspired to be a part of. and the history that they influence in the process. it is ancy reagan said, bully pulpit. you would be an idiot not to do it. that is a very 20th century play. the first presidency has been a bully pulpit for a long time. there are for academic advisors for this really interesting series. we are learning a lot along the way. we invite viewers to take the journey along with us as we begin the first week in september after labor day.
lots of learning. lots of interesting women ahead. thank you. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] ♪ ♪ >> of this announces the opening of thanksgiving day of the 20 second -- 22nd annual this.f >> it seemed to me such a shame. when we went columbia, the presidential palace there.
they were seeing. i think the white house should be like that. >> our message is this. , asothers are concerned first ladies were committed, and citizens of the world thomas lee pledged to do all that is possible to scott -- to stop .his scourge >> looking at the public and private lives of the women who served as first lady. live monday night including your calls, facebook comments and tweets.nd in a few minutes, john mccain and lindsey graham speak with reporters about syria. then a discussion of the war powers act. following that, a form on individual constitution rights with stephen breyer.
coming up at midnight we will re-air the season two preview of first lady's influence and image. >> on the next washington journal we will look at the latest from syria with steve clemons. we will take your questions about how the decision to use literary force force against the assad regime could affect national security and foreign relations. we will look at how instability in the middle east is affecting oil prices. our guest is the president for citizens for portable energy. theill also be joined by producers of the documentary "american-made movie" looking at the decline of america's any factoring workforce. is liveton journal" on c-span every day.
>> we have several live event to tell you about. the carnegie endowment for international peace hosts a discussion to require provincial local strike weapons. that will be here on c-span. the senatespan, foreign relations committee will consider the authorization for use of military force in syria. members will hear from john kerry and chuck hagel. a brookings institution discussion on how a free trade agreement being negotiated could affect turkey. >> john mccain of arizona and lindsey graham of south carolina met with president obama at the white house on monday afternoon to discuss syria. afterward they spoke with reporters for a little less than half an hour.
>> on the issue of syria and the use of chemical weapons, we emphasized to the president that has now it's been over a year since the president said it would be a game changer if chemical weapons were used. it has been two years since the president said assad must leave. we will emphasize the importance we place to actions that would degrade assad's capabilities, upgrade the opposition, and to change the momentum on the ground in order that the free syrian army can prevail over time.
that does not mean we support boots on the ground. now it is an unfair fight with the thousands of hezbollah fighters who have weapons coming in from russia and iran, and iran basically being a sponsor of bashar al-assad. so we had a productive conversation. both senator graham and i are in agreement, that now that a resolution is going to be before the congress of the united states, we want to work to make that resolution something that a majority of members of both houses can support. a rejection of that, a vote against that resolution by congress, i think would be catastrophic because it would undermine the credibility of the united states of america and the president of united states.
none of us want that. but we do want an articulation of goals that over time will degrade assad's capabilities, increase and upgrade the capabilities of the free syrian army and the free syrian government, so they can reverse the trend. assad has received an abundance of support from his sponsors, russia and iran. finally, this is a regional conflict. this is not a conflict that is confined to just syria. lebanon is destabilized. jordan is badly destabilized. iraq has turned into an aiding place for al qaeda and islamic terrorists. we have to understand that not only is there a threat, that this conflict spreading, but the iranian issue is one and their
pursuit of nuclear weapons that will be directly affected by our actions in syria. i want to -- again, we appreciate the president meeting with us. we had a candid exchange of views. and i think we have found some areas that we can work together. but we have a long way to go. >> the way i would turn the conversation is there is a consensus being formed that we need to degrade assad's capabilities and upgrade the opposition. the first thing i suggested to the president is get the opposition a chance to meet directly to the american people. john and i and the president all believe that -- are not al qaeda sympathizers. they are not trying to replace assad, whose whole family has been brutal for generations, to have al qaeda run syria.
that makes no sense. it is time for the syrian opposition to step forward. i want a statement from the opposition that if we get in charge of syria, with your help, we will run out chemical weapons. there will be no chemical weapons because we will turn them over to the international community. we would like to see a more sustained military effort, but understand where the president is at on that issue, but it is my hope even a limited military strike will degrade his capabilities. there seems to be emerging from this administration a solid plan to upgrade the opposition. it is the time to be more overt. when it comes to financing, the people in the region need to bear the lion's share.
what can i say to people in south carolina? i cannot say a lot about iraq and afghanistan, because i do not want to. i can tell the people of south carolina if we do not get syria right, it will weigh strongly on the president's shoulders. with the chemical weapons being used in syria, what effect would that have on iran in terms of their nuclear program? most south carolinians get that point. i hope we will know more about degrading and upgrading, and when the vote comes we can go to the floor and say the administration has a plan apart from a limited action that will allow us to get to where we need to get to as a nation, which is to turn around from nuclear weapons. >> if we were to strike soon, the opposition is in any kind of position to take advantage of
that? >> they could take advantage of it, but the question is how much? the fact is we have not given the arms and equipment to the resistance, which has been shameful, while huge amounts of arms have flown in from russia and iran, and now thousands of hezbollah on the ground from lebanon. if we have a plan to give them the arms they need, which i believe is part of an upgrade that we could orchestrate and this government could do, it would matter. we need to do it frankly -- it is shameful that we have not.
we should have done it two years ago. >> with a limited strike that you might have -- is that a fair assessment? >> it is a fair assessment to say we still have a significant concerns, but we believe there is in formulation a strategy to upgrade the capabilities of the free syrian army and to degrade the capabilities of assad. before this meeting, we had not had that indication. now it is a question whether that will be put into a concrete strategy that we can sell to our colleagues. >> senator mccain, we have heard republicans and democrats coming out of briefings skeptical about this. how hard is the president going to have to work to get this resolution passed? >> i think he is going to have to work very hard. americans are very skeptical. americans have to be assured that the plan will not entail american boots on the ground. i believe if we can formulate this strategy that i just articulated, degrading assad's capability, upgrading resistance, and in the long term
i think that we have a chance of succeeding in the vote. >> do you think congressmen will reject this? >> if the congress were to reject a resolution like this after the president of the united states has already committed to action, the consequences would be catastrophic in that the credibility of this country with friends and allies alike would be shredded, and there would be implications not only for this presidency, but for future presidencies as well. >> the president has no one to blame except himself about the lack of public understanding
about what has taken place in syria. two years ago there was an opportunity to get assad out, a year from now there will be tens of thousands of refugees. two years ago, there were no refugees in the jordanian kingdom. we urge the president to up his game and inform the american people what does it mean that assad wins and the opposition loses? what does it mean that assad, with backing of iran and russians, wins after we said assad has to go? the russians and the iranians are all in. i see an effort by this administration to counter.
if we do not get syria right, good luck in the hitting the iranians to change their behavior. we let it be known that we do not want to end this war. war is a terrible thing. we do not -- sustainable security. and syria is a cancer that is growing. for two years the president has allowed us to become quite frankly -- and when it comes to selling the american people, what we should do in syria, given the indifference and contradictions, it has to be a tough sell, but is not too late. clear the air. be decisive, be firm about why it matters to us as a nation to get syria right. i will go to south carolina and listen to the people to give them what happens if we do nothing and what happens if we
get syria right. >> a weak response is almost as bad as doing nothing. >> senator mccain, is what you heard from the president's vision for you and senator graham to go out and try to gain support for the president's plan? >> i think it is encouraging, but we have to have concrete plans great we have to have concrete details. and we have to be a short at this is a dramatic difference from the last two years of a policy of neglect which has led to the deaths of a hundred thousand people, a million children being refugees, and a spreading of this conflict through the region. >> are you satisfied that this timeline is of no consequence? >> i am not satisfied. everyone knows that assad is moving his assets into civilian populations.
it is much harder now than it would have and if we had acted initially. >> is this a heartening aspect of the president in terms of penetrating blows that can be struck? >> those are some of the details that frankly they have not shared with us and probably should not, but we have been given some reason to believe that very serious strikes may take based as opposed to cosmetic. i say that may, because we need to see a lot of the details. >> for the first time i have an understanding that what happens the first day after the smoke clears. israel does not announce their attacks ahead of time for a reason. this is bizarre to give the enemy weeks to reconfigure their force, but we are where we are,
and a degrading strike, limited in scope, to degrade the chemical weapons delivery system, could have a beneficial effect of the battlefield momentum. there will never be a political settlement in syria as long as assad is winning. i told the president, how do you expect anybody -- as long as assad is winning? and if you believed syria will not accept him, then he has to go. >> the president needs to do a better job selling this. what do you mean, what does he need to do specifically? >> articulate a strategy and a plan, which so far has not been there. this meant was they were going to have some strikes, and specifically categorizing that is not intended to effect regime change. i disagree with that, and i believe if we can degrade and as i mentioned and upgrade, then i think we have a chance. but we need to see that plan, we need to see that strategy articulated.
we have to make it clear that a vote against this would be catastrophic in its consequences, not only as far as this issue is concerned, but in the future. >> the president talks about regime change too often. is this a situation where that is not as important as in other issues? >> it is a tough sell. whenever you commit american forces, even in limited military involvement, and there is a credibility gap because of the last two years where nothing has happened while people have been massacred by the thousands, as much as more than 100,000. there's a credibility gap with some of us who believe we could have ended this war two years ago, when now there is possibly a change in strategy that could bring successful conclusion to this conflict.
>> did he say how he was going to articulate -- >> we can't talk -- >> [indiscernible] >> i think many of my colleagues in congress have yet to be convinced either way. they need to have the hearings that we will have starting tomorrow in the foreign relations committee, and they need to be briefed, and they need to understand, and i am sure they do, the seriousness of this issue. >> from my point of view, the republican point of view, there is a libertarian wing that respects -- fortress america will not work. but having said that, it is not a history that most members are reluctant to engage when it comes to syria because they do not know what is going to happen.
they do not have any idea how this military strike, limited in focus and nature, will change things. what are they going to tell people back home? we shoot missiles, and then what? >> for the first time i see the development of a strategy that will upgrade the opposition as well as degrade assad, that i think if it becomes a reality we will know in the next couple days that i can believe in my heart will work, and to my colleagues, if you think the outcome in syria does not matter to the united states, then you must really believe the king of jordan is a somebody else in the mideast. if you cannot see the connection between syria and iran, you are blind at a time when history needs us to have good eyesight. the connection between syria and iran is clear, and to disconnect these two would be a huge policy national security mistake, and i
hope the president above all else will make that connection. >> [indiscernible] what senator graham said about the opposition? >> we will use military means to upgrade the opposition. >> the president said it would be a catastrophe -- does that not really mean -- >> a weak response is something that would give us a serious dilemma. >> do you think he really would go forward with an attack of congress rejects -- >> it would be harder if congress has rejected it. he had ample precedent in previous republican and democratic presidents in acting without the approval of congress. >> what do you think this about- face is about? >> i think he found with the british voting the way they did and obviously without the united nations approval, as long as the russians and the chinese are there, that perhaps that a resolution of congress would
give him some more sustainability. and by the way, again, these attacks have to be sustainable. sustainable to degrade assad's capability and upgrade the free syrian army's capability to bring this conflict to an end. he will only leave when the tide of battle turns against him. >> how long is sustainable? >> it is harder and harder now with this delay. he is moving his forces around and making it more difficult to target them, despite what the chairman of the joint chiefs might say. anyone who knows the military in actions, like lindsey said, the israelis and others do not telegraph their intention days, even weeks ahead of time.
if the goal is to have a military strike to degrade the capability of the assad regime to develop chemical weapons in the future, that means delivery systems have to be affected. it means the ability to deliver has to be affected. if that is done in a way to keep down chemical weapons delivery systems, that will have a substantial effect the grading the capability of the assad regime. you are to upgrading the capability of the opposition, cohesion, and giving reasonable force behind the opposition. these three things would work, but if the goal is to put it in my lap, i welcome a discussion about what we should do. i have been telling you for two years what i think. i welcome the discussion with the president and congress. to those who say in the congress syria not our business, then you really honest to god do not
understand the world in which we live in. if you do not understand that the american people are not going to follow an uncertain -- now is the time for you to reshape public and world opinion. take advantage of it. tell the president, what does it matter to us as a nation if assad wins? i believe the president is capable of doing that, and is ready to do it, and if he is ready to do that, i am ready to go to my colleagues and say now is the time for us to come together before it is too late. >> are you confident that supporting the opposition would not also support links to al qaeda? >> i am 100% confident that we will know who the free syrian army is, you know what they need, they have a preponderant force fighting against assad, and some of these al qaeda groups are spending their time trying to impose sharia law.
there is a definite geographic division between them. we know who they are. if they have a safe area, we would know exactly how to get those weapons to them. saudis have provided weapons. >> are you reworking republican policy? >> we are going to have hearings in the foreign relation committee. >> you personally? >> i am already talking to a lot of my colleagues, but before i can't persuade them to support this, i have to be persuaded. i am saying that the president i think made sense in a lot of things he had to say, but we are a long way from achieving what i think would be a most effective strategy, and finally for those who say we do not care about syria, it does not matter to us,
czechoslovakia did not matter in the 1930's, and china did not matter when atrocities took place in those countries, we paid a horrible price for not paying attention to what happened in those countries, and we paid a heavy price in world war ii. we have to pay attention to this region, and we have to bring assad down. >> isn't what is being contemplated about as risk free as it gets, by the way? isn't that a key selling point? >> absolutely, and the key selling point is no american boots on the ground. they are tired and weary of that, and we have to tell them, no american boots on the ground. you have to show them a way forward, and that so far has not been articulated to congress or the people. >> [indiscernible] you needed to degrade command
and control -- you still believe that? >> i believe it. >> destroying the chemical weapons delivery system -- >> they are one and the same. the delivery systems are the same. they are the scud missiles, that deliver conventional weapons as well as chemical weapons. the grading these capabilities for chemical weapons would degrade his capability. to grant an advantage that assad has is air. he uses it to move his logistics around. air moves his supplies and supplies from iran and russia. he uses it to launch attacks against the free syrian army, which is the deciding factor on the battlefield. you take out his air, he is at a distinct disadvantage.
ok, thanks. >> the senate foreign relations committee tomorrow will consider the authorization for use of military wars in syria. members will hear from john kerry and defense secretary chuck hagel. that will be live here on c- span starting at 230 eastern. we are interested in how you think your representative or sister should vote on the proposal for strikes against syria. join the conversation at facebook.com/cspan. >> a discussion now on the war powers act. this is about half an hour. is jerry ofow
george mason university. he is an associate professor for the institution. thanks for coming along. what have we learned about the ability to declare military action? >> what is extraordinary is the choice he made. even earlier they have had the power to take these type of short military actions without advance congressional approval. >> that is the war power at? >> it the canons before. it designed to maybe stop the presidential actions. it did not succeed. even after they could have engaged in short military exposition.
or as for congress to before after approved. tell us what that means for the modern day. written under the oldest constitution. almost every other country you can find, except for the tiny principalities of san marino, is working under a modern written document. who has the power to declare and who has the power to initiate war is very unclear because the founders wrote their document at a time when they would send a letter to france and meet him in six feel -- and meet them six weeks later in a field. we have this extraordinary old document that is very vague as to how a small military engagements are to be conducted.
host: what is required if the president decides to act? guest: under the war powers act, which is a 1973 law, the president has 60 days to introduce troops or use force. in those 60 days, congress must approve the use of force by majority vote. if they do not, the president only has the days to withdraw the troops from harm's way. that is the way it is supposed to work. it has never worked that way in practice. congress tends not to challenge a president when they do use force outside the bounds of the war power act. when this president was bombing libya, he did not act -- he did not ask congress's permission. when the bombing went on beyond that time. period, nothing happened.
host: this is from the clerk of the house, the constitutional powers of the president as commander in chief -- guest: certainly no one can argue that the use of chemical weapons in damascus is a national emergency for the united states. host: you talked a little bit about the constitutionality of it and he suspected it might not even be constitutional, why is that? guest: it intrudes upon the assumed powers of the presidency.
the power of the president to lead in our national security interests as commander in chief. there are people in congress who are saying that what obama has done is weekend the presidency is weakened the presidency. host: you can ask him questions on one of three lines this morning. he is jeremy mayer from george mason university. if you want to give us a call -- if you want to send us a tweet, it is @cspanwj. you also weighed in on what the president can do in these kind of situations. we have a little bit of tape of what he had to say.
i want you to take a listen to it and get your response. [video clip] >> the president has absolute constitution eric power to take military action. resident reagan and president clinton all took it in the war powers act. if he said this issue is as important as it is and sending so many mixed signals over the last 10 days, this is a clear failure of leadership. if he does not want to take the action himself he should call us back into session tomorrow. we cannot be waiting 10 days and allowing syria to prepare for this, sending mixed signals. if we cannot stop syria on the red line with the chemical
weapons, how can anyone expect us to stop iran with the red line on nuclear weapons? host: jeremy mayer? guest: president obama is losing friends even those with -- even with those who agree with his position. obama was building all of this pr campaign toward an attack and everyone in this town was assuming that he would not go to congress for authorization. and he would simply take the action and accept how it came out and accept the criticism. obama, alone among the people who could be sitting in the white house, all of the major contenders in office in 2008, made the decision to go to congress. it is fascinating what is going to happen. i believe congress is going to say no. that is going to weaken obama. what obama has done is mates --
is make a statement about principle. he believes congress should be involved in these foreign-policy decisions. that has been a belief on many a belief of many on the left. maybe obama is actually happy with an outcome where he is told not to go to syria. host: he could still act. guest: i doubt he would. he obviously could. to order an attack now after chuck -- after congress has said no would be unprecedented and politically unwise. host: some people calling the war powers act a resolution. what was important about that date? >> it was the aftermath of vietnam. it was carried out and was never a declaration of war.
the right-wing would accuse them of being traitors. in the aftermath of vietnam and the aftermath of watergate, if congress wanted to reassert its traditional role as the decider of war and peace, which is what james madison and the others wanted the congress to have. host: on twitter -- guest: no, the war powers act wasn't a law. it required a presidential signature or override. the war powers act is a law. host: as far as how others have treated the act, you talked about iraq and vietnam.
any other significant moments for this act has been challenged? guest: you have many examples when the president has used this power. people say this was an illegal war during the iraq war, even though it had a use of force resolution in advance. you still have people say at the end of that, the use of force resolution is over now that saddam hussein is to needed. you'd never guess a majority in either house, which is what you need to have standing to challenge the president's war powers -- we could have had that if obama had done this without congressional approval because the house republicans, if they held together, they would have the majority of the house to challenge this act by the president, but we are not going to get that. >> it is complicated. withoutd bombed syria
congressional approval and then the house republicans acted he do not have this, then we would have a constitutional crash and we would have finally tested the war power act. our guest looks at this and other issues. he joins us now to talk about appeared host: katy good morning. caller: i wanted to say i think that president obama if he decided to go ahead without congress' approval, they have knocked him down for it. now he decided to get their approval, they're going to mock him down -- knock him down for it.
it doesn't matter which way he went, they're going to disagree. they're leak a couple 4-year- olds as far as i'm concerned. i think he was wise to do what he did that way there's no one to come back and say we told you so. guest: what katy is saying what is a lot of truth to it. critics are going to say in the larger sense perhaps the presidency would have shrunk at the end of obama's term he would have the children of congress to be the deciders of when the united states act. in the "new york times," there was a meditation of what this all mean for israel. israel is looking at america and looking at obama this morning saying, this president is so weak, can we really trust him to take actions on our behalf in
regards to iran. host: the war powers act, with u.s. forces under fire, congress isn't likely to stop funding. guest: this had been a common criticism of the war powers act since it was first written. even the people on the far left some of those who are involved in writing the 1973 act, they recognize sometimes president have to act faster than congress would allow. which will be a swiftly emerging situation where america power must be deployed. the authors of the war power act tried to balance those needs. caller: are we the policeman of the world? this situation in syria regarding the use of poisonous gases is something that affects not only the united states but the world. if the world doesn't want to act, why should the united states have to sacrifice its troops to support the world? one other thing i want to take issue with is the fact that after president barack obama gave his conference where he was asking congress to take some part in this notion over this period of trying to figure out what to do about syria, he went and played golf.
how many things does he have on his plate? if he's going to stop living because he has big issues in front of him, you may as well give up his life. guest: well, what the caller is saying, emblematic of what obama is facing in congress. the people are oppose actions here is not just conservative republicans, there's isolation republicans and there's liberal democrats who say what the college does, why does the united states have to be the policeman of the world? why can't we stay out of military conflicts overseas and keep our boys and women at home? this is why when it comes up for a vote in the house, i think it
will lose. host: this is gary. one of the things he makes the point, he hopes to blame congress for inaction. guest: that may well happen. you may well get a press conference where he say i wish i could help the syrian people but congress tied my hand. would that be a victory politically for obama? i don't see how that works out. he will look weak domestically and internationally. host: have other presidents gone back with that type of rhetoric? guest: other presidents have been in that situation. the best example is haiti in 1994, president clinton wanted to use military force and bring back the legitimate leader of haiti. he knew with the newly
empowered, newly energized opposition in congress, the republicans would have won a vote against the use the force. plus the american public was opposed to it. he couldn't do it but he didn't hold a press conference assay, i wish i could send troops to haiti but congress wouldn't let me. host: are there lessons that we can learn from what the president decided as far as his role going to congress and what we learned from david cameron with parliament? guest: yes it's a remarkable lesson because cameron didn't have to go to house of commons. he would have used force without that. he felt politically he needed to do that. obama may have taken a lesson from this because if he lost votes after the syria action, he might be more politically damaged. host: tony join us from capital
heights maryland, independent line. caller: good morning. this is once again, these actions that you're talking about are against international law. what these warmongers that you have coming from congress and academic and the media are committing international crimes. the bush administration and obama already been defined by war crimes in the international court. these people can't go around threatening war against other countries. it's against international law. we should have trials in our country of treason of pushing these illegal invasion. what really happen. those chemical weapons came from saudi arabia. it was given to the human rebels that are over there. they are mishandled and they
went off. everybody gets on the tv and try to blame the regime. all you will do, they will regroup and try to come up with another illegal invasion and mass a war. we need to have people tried for treason in this country. guest: what the caller is talking about is a good point about international law. there is almost no international law basis for the bombing of syria under these conditions. at the same time, it is clear to most observers that president assad ordered the use of sarin gas on his own people. the chemical weapons treaty does not allow you as another nation to immediately attack any user of chemical weapons. so international law is very complicated and it is very involved in this decision.
host: you hear the phrase international norms instead of law? guest: international law is becoming international norm but a norm doesn't have the force of law. so it is wrong to say international law doesn't matter but it is also wrong to say international law controls the actions of nations. it is somewhere in the mid point where it is becoming more of a norm. host: jeremy mayer from the george mason university talking about the powers of military. taking your calls as well until 8:30. up next, democrats line hi. caller: you have four questions. i really believe no matter what president obama had done, we would have found him somewhat wrong. think -- why haven't we thought of to be a strategy that he's using to gather time to get more
data, to decide what he want to do. also to have a strategy to have an in and out plan if we were to go to war and have a time frame. why haven't we thought of those factors? guest: well, this may well be one of the advantages that the obama see he has chosen. that he does get time. it's going to be september 9th before congress does come back. he's gained more time to rally international support. i think the president had a good point that whether this is a week or month, if the united states act, there will be severe consequences for the use of chemical weapons. he maybe playing the fox. he maybe gaining time through this strategy. if he ends up on television after losing a vote in the house of representatives for use of force, i just don't see how that outfoxes his critics.
host: what do you think about the strategy the white house is putting out there flooding the zone? guest: it's impressive. having the secretary of state go on five sunday talk shows to talk about sarin gas, it's impressive rollouts. rooms me the months of advance work the bush administration did for the war on iraq. several of your callers brought up in different ways that we've heard this movie before. obama has a precedent that he's dealing with which is the lies that the bush administration used to get us into the war in iraq. host: if i was going to ask if there was parallel in information that secretary kerry put out and secretary powell put out. guest: what we know about what powell said was some of it was based on torture. a lot of the intelligence that
powell used turned out to be pad and was known to be bad by people in the intelligence community. i like to think that what secretary kerry said is more grounded. i have to believe that its not based on torture at the very least. in my opinion, the recent use of chemical weapons by president assad is a much more firmly established fact than much the case. host: adding sarin to the mix yesterday. guest: it's a very impress every array of intel. i was an academic in 2003 watching secretary powell give that presentation. i was pretty impressed by that too. i was never supporter for that war. i thought it was a well done presentation as secretary powell usually does. i think kerry's case is much stronger. host: at least adding to the mix, youtube video -- guest: president assad has shown no -- shown no hesitation. whatever happens bombing him is
some mash of moral act because of his grave violations of law make up we will bring you constitutional rights. in an hour, the season two preview of first lady's influence and image. after that, a conversation with dick cheney and his daughter liz is running for the republican nomination for u.s. senate. the history and future of the digital revolution. >> the senate foreign relations committee tomorrow will consider the authorization for use of military force in syria. members will hear from john kerry and check cable.
they have really expanded one of our most important and long- standing programs and brought in a wonderful new direction. today we have two luminaries of american law. we have state constitutional courts. in many cases, the state constitutional justices have actually taken individual rights and steps further. before we began our justice marshall
is here. that is point out that justice marshall really was the part of two and terms of protecting the individual rights in terms of the united states. from theretired supreme judicial court of massachusetts and 2010, she retired in part to be able to spend more time with her husband. they put it to share the last seasons together. we wanted to share our own condolences and the loss of your husband a month ago was also an enormous loss for the country. anthony tony lewis was a .hampion of individual rights he not only won two pulitzer's for his recoating -- reporting,
than anyy did more other reporter in the united states to explain the role of the courts, especially the european court -- the supreme court. it is there also to say that that kind of explanation of the role of the court continues. part of the job description to go out as often and explain the role of the courts and opinions. who go toe of the few great links to provide this important civic fun shim. we appreciate that. we appreciate the contributions of tony lewis. and i willheard, start with you, the goodrich case you wrote over 300
opinions. most notable perhaps in the light of the last supreme court term. 2003ld like to go back to and when you wrote that opinion for the court, finding a right in the massachusetts constitution for gay marriage. prettye criticized widely and strongly from all reporters from the magister tour legislature from the governor's office. one was mitt romney at the time. all the way up to the supreme court. i wonder if you were prepared and whether you thought at all a bout what the reaction would be or whether you just look at the massachusetts supreme court and thought you had no choice but to come to the conclusion? wreck>> i was not as prepared ai